Depending on the age of the children you are inviting, the time of day, and other factors, what kind of food you’re going to serve at a child’s party can vary. Make sure you check with the parents of all the guests to find out if there are any food allergies among your prospective guests.
Here are some party food ideas according to various ages.
For a party with toddlers as the main guests, it helps to focus on finger foods that toddlers can pick up and eat themselves. Make sure the foods served are soft and not choking hazards. Some party food ideas include:
* Slices of fruit (melon, strawberries, peaches, and ripe pears are good)
* Cheese slices
* Small sandwiches with soft filling like peanut butter and jelly, cheese, egg salad, and so forth
* Pizza bites, either frozen or simply pizza that’s been cut into small slices or pieces
* Cookies that are relatively soft, not hard or that contain nuts
* Jell-O cut into fun shapes
Like the food at toddler parties, preschoolers’ party food is probably best if it is simple and can be eaten with the fingers. However, preschoolers have more advanced coordination, are less prone to choking, and can enjoy a wider range of foods. Here are some part food ideas for preschoolers:
* Fruit pizza (made with vanilla cookie dough and topped with cream cheese-based icing and fruit)
* Chips and dip (corn chips and salsa, potato chips and French onion dip, pretzels and honey mustard, etc.)
* Apple slices and caramel dip
* Hot dogs on a bun cut in half. Condiments can be according to each guests’ taste, but it might be less hassle to make the half-dogs up ahead, putting ketchup on some, mustard on others, and so forth. Then the guests can choose.
Gradeschool spans a wide range of ages, from 5 to 11 years old. For younger kids in gradeschool, say between 5 and 7 years old, the same kinds of foods as you’d have for preschoolers can be served. For kids ages 8 to 11, here are some possibilities:
* Fruit kabobs (older kids know better than to use the skewers in inappropriate ways!)
* Watermelon fruit basket (it’s not too hard to cut a watermelon into a basket shape)
* Build-your-own sandwich – set out breads and various sandwich spreads and fillings such as deli meat, cheese, sliced vegetables, etc.
* Quesadillas with salsa and guacamole dip. You can cut these into fun shapes, too.
4. Middle School
Older kids might appreciate more “sophisticated” and interesting foods. For kids of middle school age, here are some party food ideas to try.
* Camp fire cookout. Middle schoolers can cook their own food over a campfire, or cook out on a grill (with adult supervision, of course).
* Build-your-own pizza, where kids can add toppings according to their tastes. Bagels, English muffins, or homemade or store-bought mini crusts make good choices for the pizza base.
* Ethnic foods can be fun for this age. Try serving various foods from different countries and see how everyone reacts to the new flavors.